Need a PCI soundcard (optical) with SPECIFIC criterior!!!! Read on...

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Right, need a cheap and basic card for my "ghetto" HTPC. I currently have an old Yamaha card I got from a forum member, which is good, but doesn't have one thing I want - bundled audio software....

In my main PC I have a Trust 514DX card - 5.1 analogue PCI card with a secondary card with optical and digi coax outputs/inputs. Great card, and great "software" to go with it. For those that don't know, it's basically just a "mixer" for the card : volume/gain

Whats great about it is I can set the WAVE volume (WAVE for the SPDIF output) to half gain so it's not too loud, then use the application volume (like WMP for easy volume control.

Reason for this is that VLC, when playing A/52 over SPDIF doesn't have an independant colume control, and the Windows Volume Mixer doesn't have any affect on the volume being out put by the card.

Problem is with the Yammy card is that playing stuff through that into the AVR is the PC is too loud, so I have to have the amp on virtually mute during the eve as it's too loud.

So I need a card with this criterior;

1/ Single slot PCI - no add on cards like my 514DX as I only have one single PCI slot available (as no more spare bays)

2/ MUST have optical output!!!!!!! And the ability to output all the PC audio, warning bleeps, etc etc from the SPDIF......

3/ Have easy to use bundled software like the mixer on the Trust card to let me set volume levels....

4/ BE CHEAP!!!!!! I don't want any £20+ cards as the PC cost naff all and the whole point of the project was to have a truely basic, crappy, cheap as chips PC purely for MP3/internet radio and AVI/MPEG support......

Show me what I need please guys!!!!!!!
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Now don't I feel like a dufus!!!!! I just decided to open the full Windows Volume Mixer and of course, there's a WAVE volume control in there, which when adjusted changes the volume of the optical output :oops:

So problem solved LOL......
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Actually no it doesn't.... I dioesn't affect the volume thru VLC when the source file is outputting DD5.1 or DTS... So when playing back DD/DTS music or film, I have to have the AVR volume on INCREDIBLY low so as it not be too loud, but of course, it doesn't sound as full then. Plus when you have it that low to get a reasonable audible listening volume, when something LOUD happens, you can't go any lower!!!! IE, the volume knob on the AVR is at 8pm - 7pm is muted! I want the volume knob to sit around 9pm so I have a bit of up and down scope....

Hunt is back on for a card methinks....
 

dogbert

Active Member
Well, since all the card does is digitally passing on a pre-encoded dts/ac3 stream, you can't regulate the volume of that stream without re-encoding or modifying it. There are cards which support transcoding, but that comes at a great loss of quality, and they aren't cheap.
Instead of looking for another card, you should really take a look into the manual of your receiver: chances are that you can adjust the volume of the speakers so they can be calibrated well enough for the "normal range".
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Thanks..... I think! I had a look in the AVR manual to see if you could lower the volume of individual inputs prior to the main volume control and found nothing (please, feel free to have a look HERE in case it's something I have missed!)

The bit about the PCM SPDIF stream and 16 14 bits etc.... I don't have a clue what you on about! lol... But anyway, the Trust card is installed in my desktop PC and whilst I do use the optical output on the card for audio, it's only ever 2ch mp3 and "computer" audio - not movie multichannel audio or anything like that........
 

dogbert

Active Member
Thanks..... I think! I had a look in the AVR manual to see if you could lower the volume of individual inputs prior to the main volume control and found nothing (please, feel free to have a look HERE in case it's something I have missed!)
Page 39, Level Button. In theory, a good receiver should enable you to make per-speaker level adjustments, but since it's a sony, I'm afraid you're out of options on that end.

The bit about the PCM SPDIF stream and 16 14 bits etc.... I don't have a clue what you on about! lol... But anyway, the Trust card is installed in my desktop PC and whilst I do use the optical output on the card for audio, it's only ever 2ch mp3 and "computer" audio - not movie multichannel audio or anything like that........
Normal CD audio gets quantisized into values with 16 bit width, but the official C-Media drivers actually recalculate the audio signal down to 14 bit which comes at a pretty high cost with regard to audio quality.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Sorry, can't see how the level button would make a particualr input lower volume than others.... Let me re-itterate....

The PC, when playing a DD/DTS audio track into the AVR is too loud. So the AVR needs to be at VERY low volume. I do not have the problem when using WMP or whatever on the PC into the AVR, or when using the Freeview box into the AVR, or the DVD player into the AVR.....

I need a way of lowering the volume to the PC optical output BEFORE it reaches the AVR.

The Level button only allows me to raise and lower the volume of different speakers in relation to the other speakers.....
 

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